Poem of the Week, by Dean Young

IMG_3673As a kid desperation used to fill me for more, more, more, but I couldn’t put words to the panicky feeling beyond once telling my mother that “I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want a normal life,” knowing even then that “normal” wasn’t exactly the right word. 

More of everything is what I wanted: more sky, more wind, more space, more freedom more travel more music more poems more love more life. As I type these words my own voice in my own head keeps whispering more in italics. 

Every line of the poem below, hopping and skipping from more to more, skimming through a life and dipping down into the wild hunger and hurt and joy bursting out of it, feels familiar to me. Then the last line made me laugh out loud, and all I could think was: Yeah. This guy wants everything, too.


New Restrictions, by Dean Young

It doesn’t matter how many
Wallace Stevens poems you’ve memorized
or if you had sex in the graveyard
like an upside-down puppet
or painted your apartment red
so it feels like sleeping inside a heart
or the trees were frozen with ravens
which you sent pictures of to everyone you know
or your pie dough’s perfect
or you once ran a sub-5-minute mile
or you’re on the last draft
of your mystery novel and still
don’t know if the vicar did it
or every morning that summer
you saw a fox stepping through the fog
but it got no closer
or once you helped drag a deer
off the road by the antler
sit blinked
or which song comes from which side
of your mouth as you drive
all night all night all night
or how deep and long you carry
a hitch in your breath after crying
or shot a man in Tennessee
or were so happy in France
or left your favorite scarf in a café,
the one with the birds and terrible art
or the Klimt
or you call your mother once a week
even after she’s dead
or can’t see a swan without panic
or have almost figured out
what happened to you as a child,
urge, urge, nothing but urge
or 600 daffodils
or a knife in the glove box
or a butterfly on a bell,
you can’t park here.


For more information on Dean Young, please click here.
Twitter and Instagram: @alisonmcgheewriter 

Poem of the Week, by Dean Young

Restoration Ode
– Dean Young

What tends toward orbit and return,
comets and melodies, robins and trash trucks
restore us. What would be an arrow, a dove
to pierce our hearts restore us. Restore us

minutes clustered like nursing baby bats
and minutes that are shards of glass. Mountains
that are vapor, mice living in cathedrals,
and the heft and lightness of snow restore us.

One hope inside dread, “Oh what the hell”
inside “I can’t” like a pearl inside a cake
of soap, love in lust in loss, and the tub
filled with dirt in the backyard restore us.

Sunflowers, let me wait, let me please
see the bridge again from my smacked-up
desk on Euclid, jog by the Black Angel
without begging, dream without thrashing.

Let us be quick and accurate with the knife
and everything that dashes restore us,
salmon, shadows buzzing in the wind,
wren trapped in the atrium, and all

that stills at last, my friend’s cat,
a pile of leaves after much practice,
and ash beneath the grate, last ember
winked shut restore us. And the one who comes

out from the back wiping his hands on a rag,
saying, “Who knows, there might be a chance.”
And one more undestroyed, knocked-down nest
stitched with cellophane and dental floss,

one more gift to gently shake
and one more guess and one more chance.

For more information on Dean Young, please click here.